Jon Berg is leaving Warner Bros.’s DC Films following the poor box office performance and critical reception of Justice League, according to Variety. Geoff Johns, the other head of DC Films, is expected to remain in his position as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, although the trade also says his role in Warner Bros.’ film wing may lessen to an “advisory” capacity.
Berg is said to be moving into a role as producer for Warner Bros., working alongside The Lego Movie and It producer Roy Lee.
“This is something that Jon approached me about six months ago, and he expressed his goal was to ultimately be a producer at the studio,” Warner Bros. Picture Group President Toby Emmerich said in a statement. “I first met Jon when, as a producer, he brought Elf to New Line, which remains one of the best and most evergreen titles in the library. We’re thrilled that Jon is partnering with Roy and anticipate their company being a valuable source of movies for Warner Bros. and New Line.”
It turns out the revision of Justice League with all the late changes in story and re-shoots is the responsibility of Berg and Johns as the heads of DC Films. Justice League’s critical failure and underperforming box office has resulted in Toby Emmerich and the other heads at Warner Bros. Pictures Group making some hard decisions about the DCEU as a franchise. A new leader of DC Films is expected to be named shortly. Emmerich is said to be also considering folding the DC Films venture back into the main Warner Bros. film wing, and not with its own division.
To no one’s surprise Justice League and BvS director Zack Snyder is not currently slotted to do any more DC endeavors, and it’s “highly unlikely” that Ben Affleck will star in Matt Reeves’s stand-alone Batman picture. With all this going on Variety reports that the WB brass was reportedly happy enough with Ezra Miller’s performance as the Flash in Justice League that his solo movie is still in development. It is known that Ben Affleck is under contract to do one more film for the DCEU possibly the Flash movie.
By far the movie with the most DC Entertainment influence has been Wonder Woman, so whatever version of the DCEU we see in the future it should include the current Wonder Woman. Matt Reeves’s Batman is in the works and of course, Aquaman directed by James Wan is already made and will be released November 2018. Shazam is scheduled for 2019 will be directed by David F. Sandberg and the cast has already been chosen so that will happen unless cut by the WB heads. Back in September Matthew Vaughn admitted he was in talks with Warner Bros. to direct a Man of Steel 2 saying he “wanted to direct a “feel-good, heroic” take on Superman”, with the good reception of the version of Superman in the Justice League that maybe a real possibility.
Whatever direction Warner Bros. goes the juggernaut effort of Zack Snyder to overwhelm audiences by putting all the DC Comic great superheroes together early in the DCEU’s development will not continue and a much slower pace of superhero movies will prevail. Perhaps a development of solo movies first is a better approach before the release of a Justice League 2 movie. Give viewers a reason to care for these heroes individually before you put them together on the big screen in a team-up movie. Build your universe piece by piece, character by character.
While I don’t think that moviegoers are burnt out in seeing superhero movies I think they are tired of the of movies that promise a big story and don’t give the proper time to develop this characters showing the wonderful roots of these DC Icons. There is no formula for this except good stories that are well directed and acted. Plus leadership that has a vision of what movies should be made and at what time they should be released and who should direct them.
Entertainment is still the goal of every movie studio and change sometimes is good to produce something fresh and new to audiences. See you at the movies and as always, stay tuned for more. 🙂 Walt